Annual Progress Report 2023
- We continued our active advocacy for a return to normal, post-pandemic, in terms of border crossing procedures and numbers. This included high profile advocacy for the maintenance of CBP staffing levels at Champlain to service and facilitate resumed car and truck volumes and opposition to northern border staff transfers to the southern border.
- We actively worked with the U.S. General Services Administration on initial plans and designs for a new U.S. border crossing facility at Rouses Point including provisions for the efficient clearance of Amtrak passengers. Substantial design changes were achieved and an initial $4 million has been contracted for wetlands work as a first step in the substantial project. We also actively engaged in GSA initial designs for a renovated and expanded border crossing facility at Trout River.
- We obtained recognition as a stakeholder representative in upcoming planning and design work for $49 million in facility improvements by CBSA at the Lacolle Canadian port of entry.
- Through a long planned marketing initiative, supplemented by the award of a $300,000 grant from the state for post-pandemic international tourism marketing, we achieved a higher than expected resumption of 2019 Canadian car levels at Champlain, reaching 92% -- higher than elsewhere.
- We continued our active partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), including conducting several sessions of our "Doing Business in the U.S." workshop for Quebec companies. We also continued our active partnership with the FCCQ including several similar workshops on the road in various locations in Quebec.
- We actively promoted and supported final state approvals for the Champlain-Hudson Power Express project, now under construction. We also helped to launch the first round of grants from the new HydroQuebec/CHPE Green Energy Fund, targeting green job training in New York.
- We established collaborative relations with both the new Canadian Consul General in NYC, Thomas Clark, including a valuable two-day area visit, and with the new U.S. Consul General in Montreal, Robert Sanders.
- We once again co-organized and co-sponsored International Trade Days in collaboration with the Canadian Consulate General in NYC and with U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
- We advocated successfully for resumption of the Amtrak Adirondack train service between Montreal and New York, and for urgent steps to address track challenges in Canada that caused a summer suspension for safety.
- Our President joined the Advisory Board of the Delegation General of Quebec in New York.
TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT & AEROSPACE:
- NAmTrans (North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment) has continued to blossom as one of North America's most active and effective cluster support and development entities. This includes federal and state funding for specialized workforce training for the cluster, organizing several cluster manufacturers to join in exhibiting at Aero Montreal's Aeromart Expo, exhibiting and actively networking at the Paris International Air Show, facilitating meetings for Alstom with state and federal officials on crucial policy matters, and developing and launching plans for our Third QUEBEC-NEW YORK B2B TRANSPORTATION RENDEZVOUS event in March 2024.
- We accepted and continue to play the lead role in marketing the Nova Bus operation in Plattsburgh to electric bus and other vehicle manufacturers around the world, generating and dealing with several prospects. We also continue to work with Nova suppliers to help them expand and diversify their customer base, including securing state funding to take eight manufacturers with us to exhibit at the APTA (American Public Transportation Assn.) expo in Orlando with all indicating success stories.
- We have maintained our active and valuable Partnerships with Aero Montreal and with Propulsion Quebec.
- We played a lead role in securing $20 million from Governor Hochul toward a $41 million facility for BETA Technologies at Plattsburgh International Airport.
- We have continued to maintain, update and promote our Economic Development and FDI website: NYMTL.com -- Where NY Meets Montreal.
- We have continued to conduct tailored Red Carpet sessions for Canadian and other companies interested in our area, as well as several sessions for current companies contemplating expansions here.
- We have continued our longstanding and popular Workplace Safety Training Program, as well as our Human Resources Leadership Group.
- We marshalled immediate response to news of the cessation of operations by SterRx, assisting with messaging and then marketing, including arranging a site visit and meeting by Empire State Development CEO Hope Knight. We also helped to coordinate support services for the employees including special access to our fall job fair.
- We have maintained our SCORE business counseling service in conjunction with the SCORE Chapter in Albany.
- We actively exhibited on our region's behalf at the SelectUSA FDI conference held in Montreal in 2023, continuing our role in seeking and attracting foreign investment.
- We devised, launched and conducted the Margaret Street Initiative throughout most of 2023, actively promoting downtown business during the Margaret Street reconstruction project.
- Our President was again recognized by City & State magazine among the Economic Development Power 100.
- We exhibited at the annual conference and expo of ATAC (Air Transport Association of Canada) in Montreal.
- We obtained full approval as a refugee resettlement community through Catholic Charities under our North Country Neighbors project and now await our initial family resettlement.
- We have continued to actively participate in regional workforce planning and coordination, including service on the North Country Regional Workforce Development Board and its Workforce Partnership, CV-TEC's Advisory Board, and the Advisory Board for Clinton Community College's Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.
- We obtained and successfully coordinated a $285,600 federal grant, supplemented with a state grant for additional services, focused on specialized welding training for area manufacturers.
- We finalized $500,000 in on-the-job training funding from the U.S. Labor Dept., preparing to launch a two-year program in 2024. The funding was secured for us by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Senator Charles Schumer.
- We secured funding and successfully coordinated a training program with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce.
- We played a leading role in another highly successful Manufacturing Day at Clinton Community College.
- We again conducted two successful Job Fairs for area employers and jobseekers.
- Our Chamber's workforce development programs were spotlighted in 2023 at the annual NYATEP conference in Syracuse.
- We conducted our Annual Survey to give voice to the regional business community on timely federal, state and regional issues.
- We conducted a successful 2023 STATE LEGISLATIVE FORUM, and another successful STATE OF THE COUNTY/CITY/TOWN.
- We helped to organize the revived ADIRONDACK DAY IN ALBANY which had not been held since 2019. We secured participation by the Lt. Governor, Senate Majority Leader, Assembly Speaker and a number of State Legislators and acted as MC during their visits.
- We led the creation of our first ADIRONDACK ECONOMIC AGENDA in collaboration with the Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages, the Adirondack Economic Development Corp., the Lake Champlain-Lake George Regional Planning Board and ROOST, identifying key issues related to housing, broadband, economic/business development, and tourism development.
- We conducted another successful and impactful NORTH COUNTRY DAYS IN WASHINGTON, including in-person sessions with Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congresswoman Stefanik and Governor Hochul's Washington staff.
- We participated in two North Country visits by Sen. Schumer including one on rural health care at CVPH, and two by Sen. Gillibrand including bringing White House staffer Mitch Landrieu to BETA Technologies.
- We hosted a visit to Plattsburgh by Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado, establishing a collaborative relationship in connection with our state related needs.
PLATTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
- We continued to assist with the marketing of industrial/aviation facilities and opportunities at the airport, generating prospects and leases.
- We collaborated with Clinton County and Aero Montreal in securing an MOU between the airport and Chamber and VPorts, developers of a cross-border electric aircraft freight delivery service in planning stages.
- We actively assisted BETA Technologies in securing and deepening political contacts and connections in Albany, Washington and Canada, including federal appropriations for a program important to their Defense related ambitions.
- We led the advocacy effort in Washington, seeking Congressional approval of PBG as a regular Custome Port of Entry, thus ending the requirement that Clinton County fully fund Customs operations at the airport.
- We worked with Senator Schumer on encouraging Breeze Airways to initiate air service at upstate New York airports including Plattsburgh.
- We arranged and co-hosted an important familiarization visit to Plattsburgh International Airport by New York State Transportation Commissioner Dominguez.
- Our Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau implemented its extensive and multi-faceted Tourism Development & Marketing Plan in 2023, enjoying clear success in restimulating substantial levels of visitation from Canada will retaining and stimulating visitation from points south as well, particularly from the Capital Region.
- We actively supported and assisted the successful World University Games in Lake Placid in January.
- We secured and successfully hosted eight major bass fishing tournaments on Lake Champlain in 2023 as well as the return of the East Coast Watercross Championships.
- We successfully sustained and grew membership in 2023.
- We conducted a number of highly successful and enjoyable business events including our Annual Dinner, St. Patrick's Breakfast, our annual Golf Tournament, Women in Business, Taste of the North Country, Business Expo, North Country Connections, and our monthly Business After Hours networking events.
- Our Health Insurance services remain a strong support system for small businesses and individuals in the region.
- Communications, including our popular "Today's Dose" e-newsletter and our active use of social media, have continued to strengthen awareness and interaction.
- Finances remained very strong with a diversity of revenue streams.